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World's tallest buildings (part i): Cheops Pyramid, Lincoln Cathedral, St. Olav, Strasbourg Cathedral, St. Nikolai

By WcP.Story.Teller - Posted on 28 December 2008

Cheops Pyramid – Egypt, finished in 2,600 BC (481 ft - 146 m)


Cheops Pyramid – Egypt, finished in 2,600 BC (481 ft - 146 m)

The Cheops Pyramid at Giza, Egypt, was finished in the year (approx) 2,600 BC and reigned as the world's tallest building / structure for another 4,000 years. How the Great Pyramid was built is a question that may never be answered. This pyramid is thought to have been built between 2589 - 2566 BC. It would have taken over 2,300,000 blocks of stone with an average weight of 2.5 tons each. These stones were brought from Aswan and Tura and the water would have brought the stones right to the pyramid. The total weight would have been 6,000,000 tons and a height of 482 feet (140m). The Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu) is the largest and the oldest of the Pyramids of Giza. It wasn't until the 13th Century that Egypt lost the title to a cathedral that was constructed in the U.K. at Lincoln.

Lincoln Cathedral, U.K. (525 ft - 160 m)

Lincoln Cathedral, U.K., completed in 1311 AD (525 ft - 160 m)

Construction of the Cathedral finished in the year 1311 AD, and the Cathedral maintained the title of the world's tallest building for 238 years until 1549 AD, when the central spire was destroyed in a storm. The central spire was never re-built.

St. Olav, Tallinn, Estonia (522 ft - 159 m)

St. Olav, Tallinn, Estonia, finished in 1519 (522 ft - 159 m)

Construction was finished in the year 1519, and the Cathedral was not originally as high as Lincoln Cathedral, however, due to the storm that destroyed Lincoln Cathedral's main spire in 1549, St. Olav became the worlds tallest building. 76 years later, in 1625, St. Olav also saw it's spire destroyed by a storm.

Strasbourg Cathedral, France (472 ft - 142 m)

Strasbourg Cathedral, France, erected in 1439 (472 ft - 142 m)

Strasbourg Cathedral (Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Strasbourg) completed in 1439, finally received the title of world's tallest building in 1625 due to storms that had destroyed the spires of other taller constructions. Strasbourg Cathedral was to hold this title for another 249 years from 1625 until 1874.

St. Nikolai, Hamburg, Germany (482 ft - 147 m)

St. Nikolai, Hamburg, Germany, completed in 1874 (482 ft - 147 m)

St. Nikolai took the title of world's tallest building upon completion in the year 1874 being just 10 feet higher than it's predecessor, however, St. Nikolai's moment of glory as the world's tallest building only lasted 2 years as another Cathedral was to take the title away in 1876.

Rouen Cathedral, France (495 ft - 151 m)

Rouen Cathedral, France, erected in 1876 (495 ft - 151 m)

Rouen Cathedral, the world's tallest building from 1876 to 1880, has been dubbed the "City of a Hundred Spires," for many of its important edifices are churches. Towering above them all is the highest spire in France, erected in 1876, a cast-iron tour-de-force rising 490 ft above the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen. Claude Monet immortalized Rouen's cathedral (particularly the facade) in his paintings.

Cologne Cathedral, Germany (516 ft - 157 m)

Cologne Cathedral, Germany, completed in 1880 (516 ft - 157 m)

Construction of Cologne Cathedral actually took over 640 years to complete (construction began in 1248) and was officially completed in 1880 giving the Cathedral the title of the world's tallest building although this title was only to last for 4 years until 1884 when The Washington Monument, U.S.A. was finally completed.

Up until this point in history, the Lincoln Cathedral, U.K. completed in 1311 would have remained the world's tallest building at 525 ft - 160 m had it's spire not been destroyed by a storm. However, from this moment on, structures were to undergo dramatic changes in construction techniques allowing vastly taller buildings.


Original source and photos courtesy of Cool Pics, The Great Pyramid of Cheops (Khufu), Sacred Destinations, and Wikipedia

I have actually been to Cheops pyramid and the feeling is like none other. It is vast, glorious, admirable and out of the world. I have read from that the pyramid is so big that if it were an household place literally thousands of people could live in it. The other places mentioned in here are also great and it is really good to know how there is a constant evolution of designs and how artisans made these places look fantastic. The great thing about it is, that these places are still great to watch and people marvel at the gigantic nature of these constructions.

Interesting article! Never knew that cathedral owners in the past were so fixated on building the tallest building. Was there a particular reason why they had to outdo each other in terms of height? Still, those structures are grand looking even today.

Interesting article! Never knew that cathedral owners in the past were so fixated on building the tallest building. Was there a particular reason why they had to outdo each other in terms of height? Still, those structures are grand looking even today.

Great post, Mason! A fantastic summary/overview.
Thanks for the work! Keep going!

I want to go there in person !the world is biautiful!

Excellent post, great pictures :)

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